I don’t know for sure how long its been making the rounds on social media but I found it a couple of days back and just couldn’t stop laughing.
You know that thing about a picture being worth a thousand words? This image perfectly captured how I (sometimes) feel about ‘motivational speakers’. Apologies to those who may not get the joke.
Have you ever attended an event and you got all fired up, you stepped out basking in the glow, feeling all energetic, ready to take on the world yet it never seemed to last? I know I have.
But then I learned a few things. Beyond the laughter, these thoughts hold true.
- Motivational speakers have their place. Every meaningful accomplishment is driven somehow. Because life rarely improves on its own, some force must be injected to propel the pursuit of our dreams. A healthy dose of motivation could be just what the doctor ordered on those days when you don’t just feel like doing anything.
- It was not designed to last. Neither was eating, bathing or sleeping. Repeated exposure is crucial. Don’t think you’d attend one event and instantly become a new person. It may start the process, but it takes much more to sustain. That leads to the next thought.
- You’ll still have to do your own thinking. Life is so unique I think it’d be a tad irresponsible to demand that someone else help figure out yours. After the witty lines and sticky anecdotes, you must go on to process what’s said and extract how best to apply it to your life. Don’t expect anyone to do that for you; not even a motivational ‘speaker’.
- You’ll still have to do your own doing. Get excited all you want. Scream. Take notes. Sketch the five-step process. Set SMARTi goals. Grow some goosebumps. Eventually, the degree of change you experience will be bounded by the intensity and consistency (I’m starting to sound like one, right?) of thoughtful action you deploy.
So yes, its normal to greet some motivational speaking with cynicism bred by too many encounters with ‘the real world’. But whatever you do, make sure you keep running towards your dreams.
Don’t ever stop. Don’t quit. And if you ever try to, I’ll send a motivational speaker to come get you.
Live by Design.